he came in six lengths ahead; we spent the whole next weekend high

I spent $118 on groceries at BJ’s last night. Partly this arose from breaking the first rule of grocery shopping – “never shop hungry” – and partly this arose from the lack of dinnerstuff in my freezer.

I now own:

  • A 3-lb bag of Tyson chicken nuggets (less the 10 I ate last night – surprisingly tasty);
  • A 32-count bag of Grands frozen biscuits;
  • 30 Gorton’s breaded Fish filets;
  • 30 Kosher National hot dogs;
  • A quart tub of cottage cheese;
  • A similarly sized tub of some kind of smart “butter-like spread”;
  • Two jars of Skippy peanut butter;
  • Three sticks of Right Guard deoderant;
  • A 500-count of BJ’s generic answer to Men’s One-a-Day vitamins;
  • 24 granola PowerBars, all with some variety of chocolate in them; and
  • 240 pieces of Trident sugarless gum.

Those last two are in my desk at work. I chew gum to keep from grinding my teeth, and I snack on PowerBars between meals.

I also wrote another 1,990 words last night. This project feels a lot more fluid than my last one. I think it’s because (1) it’s not inspired by a dream I had, and thus makes more sense; (2) the setting is a suburban environment, as opposed to a surreal nightmare world where no one knows anything; and (3) I outlined it a little more rigorously before starting. I don’t have a full skeleton, but I have points, and those points are in something of a straight line. I can let the story take any path that feels natural and orient back toward a point when I get lost.

I watched another episode of The Shield S4. Given the volume of cop shows I watch, I feel it’s important to distinguish between “gritty” and “realistic.” The Shield is gritty. Almost no one in the regular cast is a hero in any real sense of the word. Everyone’s shown at their worst and bad things keep happening to them. The Wire, on the other hand, is realistic. Everything has such verisimilitude to it that, as I’ve mentioned before, I can’t even imagine what the writing process looks like.

We often take “gritty” for “real” because the real world has grit to it. And that much is true. But “gritty” presumes a malevolent universe. “Real” presumes the actual, real universe we live in. It’s a subtle distinction, but watch those two shows and tell me you don’t see it.

(The usual caveats apply – I haven’t seen the latter half of Shield S4 or Wire S3, so don’t refer to anything in the later seasons even in the most oblique terms. Seriously. Thanks)

Between the incredible multimedia power of my new iMac, the TV-DVDs I have yet to watch, the reading I need to catch up on and the writing I plan to do, I still haven’t bought an XBox 360. And I don’t know if I will for a while yet. My life’s plenty rich without one, thanks. I definitely won’t buy one before black belt – I need to start incorporating the occasional Saturday into my training regimen. So black belt + reading + writing + TV shows + Netflix + real-world friends = a full plate for the next couple of months.

But at least I won’t have to waste time shopping. Thanks to $118 worth of groceries.

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